For many years, Brits have upheld a proud reputation as a nation of animal lovers with approximately 6.6 million dogs residing in households across the country.
If you have opted for a dog friendly cottage staycation this year, you’re not alone. A poll by travelsupermarket.com has revealed that 47% of us miss our pets more than family members when we’re away and two in five of us now take our pets on holiday.
Here are four tips to ensure you and your dog have a fun-filled holiday together.
Research the local area
Ensure a stress-free getaway by researching the best dog friendly pubs, restaurants, nearby beaches, local forests and scenic walks. If there are any attractions that you and your family wish to visit, enquire ahead of time to check your pooch is welcome.
It is worth taking your dog for a general health check at the vets before travelling to ensure they are in tip-top condition and have no underlying issues. If they are taking any medication you will need to take enough for the whole time you are away.
Finally, it’s the last thing you want to think about but accidents and sickness can strike at any time so ensuring you have a plan should the worst happen is important. Before heading off to your dog friendly cottage, find out where the local vet is and make a note of their contact details including any out of office numbers you may need in an emergency. This is particularly important if you are heading somewhere remote. Check your pet insurance policy to confirm that you have cover should you need it.
Plan the journey
Before heading off on your break, adding extra travel time to your ETA is advisable to factor in regular toilet and exercise breaks for your dog. Also, keep a separate bag packed for the journey containing your pooch’s water bowl, treats, food tray, leash, medication and food so that you have it to hand while on the road. Don’t forget to keep plenty of bottled water in the car in case tap water isn’t available for any reason.
For driving, a safety harness or a barricade across the backseat is important as is ensuring good ventilation. If it’s hot, you’ll need to purchase some shade screens for the windows – dogs easily suffer heat stress. Under no circumstances should your pet be left in the car unattended.
Keeping your dog safe
Microchipping your pooch is essential. When going on holiday, the unfamiliar sounds, sights and smells could prompt more excitable pets to lose their inhibitions and dash for something and if they were to get lost, you would want the best chance of seeing them returned. Also, ensure they have a secure collar with your most up-to-date contact details
Routine is key
Many dogs find the change in routine, travelling and a new environment challenging and stressful. Unsurprisingly, the new signs, scents and scenery can be unsettling for them. Keeping a routine is a great way for you to demonstrate that they are in a safe space and even though the surroundings have changed, everything else remains consistent. For example, sticking to the same feeding and walking times can be a small way to reduce your dog’s anxiety. Other effective ways of providing comfort to your canine friend are investing in a plug-in pheromone diffuser and making sure that you bring items from home such as their favourite blanket.
Enjoy your dog friendly cottage staycation!